Defiler Talk "Nematocera"
Mon, 05 Nov 2012 18:00:28
On Nematocera, Defiler get heavy.
Of course, it's brutal and bloody at points. However, there's something much deeper to the record. It's been a hell of a journey for vocalist Jake Pelzl, and he siphons every moment of it into Defiler's music. That's one of the reasons the band's stand out from the pack—they're unflinchingly and uncompromisingly honest.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Defiler singer Jake Pelzl talks Nematocera, video games, and so much more.
What's your take on Nematocera as a whole? Did you approach it with one vision or vibe in mind?
It was written over the course of a lot of different events that happened during the past few years. Right after our first record came out, I went to jail for two months, and I was under house arrest for six months. I wrote some of the songs when I was in jail. I wrote some of them while I was in house arrest. As soon as all that was over, I was totally swept off my feet by this beautiful girl who I love more than anything. I was dealing with a bunch of stress having to go out on the road. I had some health problems. There were a lot of different things influencing the record, and I felt like there was no way I'd be able to nail down one specific idea. It's really a collection of everything that went on over the past two years.
Was it important for you to touch on different emotions and sounds within this one landscape?
Totally! When I was growing up on bands like Papa Roach and System of a Down, I didn't envision myself being in a band like Defiler was. I wanted to try and open us up to a lot of different soundscapes. I feel like we pulled it off. As far as the sound goes, the sky's the limit. If people like what we're doing now, we can try whatever we want.
What's the story behind "Lucky 38"?
That was almost 100 percent written in jail. I don't know how to read music, so I got a piece of paper and wrote down my own little tab key. The lyrics were about how there's much more to us. It sums up that idea. It's about how when I got out of jail, I was going to take over the world, put this album out, be on top, and feel great about.
Is it like a new beginning for you?
That's exactly what it is. I was hanging out with a bad crowd. I didn't like the way I was living my life, and I got out and turned it around.
What's your favorite song on the album?
I think my personal favorite is "Nuclear Anomaly". That song is me explaining why I'm able to get past all of the things I was dealing with on the last record like the tumultuous relationships and dark demons. It's me getting past it and realizing it doesn't have to define who I am. Musically, it was really fun to write and record because it has all of the clean sounds and technical stuff we're bringing with the new music.
Is it important for you to tell stories with the songs and paint pictures?
It's funny because these songs were written a long time ago. As soon as we finished the second record, we started writing these in late 2010. I had more to tell and offer through my music. I didn't realize how to do it yet because our first album was comprised of the first songs I'd ever written like that. Now that I'd been doing it a little longer, I felt like the storytelling aspect of the songwriting was a lot more effective. It was more fun. It was almost easier for me because it flowed out of my mind. I wrote some of the lyrics in 15 minutes. It was out and open for people to hear.
What other art forms influence you?
I think the other art form that influences me the most is video games. Growing up, video games were a way to get a way to get away from the life I was living. It was my way into other worlds where I was living these adventures. A lot of our song titles reference Fallout. It's a post-apocalyptic roleplaying game based around karma and the way the decisions you make impact people. Then, there's The Legend of Zelda series and Kingdom Hearts.
What games have you been playing?
I got hooked on the newest Zelda game Skyward Sword for Nintendo Wii. It's essentially a prologue to Ocarina of Time. It introduces the game I really got hooked on as a little kid. That's why I got hooked on it.
If you were to compare Nematocera to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
Maybe the movie Casino with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci! I feel like there's a lot more music in the movie. It really goes through an entire timeline of events. That's the biggest thing about this album. It's a long timeline of events that explains events in a scattered way. That's how the album is!
Have you heard Defiler yet>?